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Hi everyone, me and my wife have had a betta for a week or two (three maybe?) that is a very pretty blue/peach color with iridescent blue fins with red tips. I christened this Betta Skye because he kinda looks like the colors in the sky when you get a pretty sunset. Plus I was thinking about Kitiara's dragon in Dragonlance. ;) He is a combtail whose fins are recovering right now. When we first got him we had him in our 29 and the angels liked his fins a little bit too much so he went into our 10g guppy tank where his fins have been healing nicely. I will get some pics up as soon as either his tail heals or I get my camera working again, whichever comes last. :)


P.S. Rose, is there anything the Betta queen has to recommend to help Skye's fins heal faster? There are two cherry shrimp in the tank. His fins were about 4 inches long when we got him and the angels got them down to 2 inches before we could rescue him. They are almost at 3 now. Thanks.
 

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Thank you for writing. Betta queen? HMMM, I think I could get used to that LOL.

Anyway I am glad you wrote me as fin issues in bettas are large problems and can lead to a long and protracted illness or death if not gotten to right away. They become infected and then it can become a chronic problem.

There are really two main things that are necessities. The first and probably the most difficult is that he is going to have to be taken out of the tank with the guppies too as he does not recognize them as threats and will allow them to nosh on the fins too and they will. You may not notice it but they can and have been known to be fin nippers also.

I would suggest that at the very least you get a tank divider and divide that tank so the fish cannot get to him for a week or so and then get a plastic container at the dollar store or a reptile box at the pet store of about 3 gallons or so in size. Also get a small sponge filter and some airline and a small airpump with a small air control device while you are at the petstore. Believe me none of this is wasted as you will find it invaluable with fish that need emergency care later on too. It will serve as a quarantine tank or hospital tank for your fish that need individual care.

For the first week you leave the sponge filter bubbling away in your largest established tank and if you have the betta in the hospital tank you do daily water changes of half the water in the tank as it is unfiltered. You do not put gravel or any substrate in this tank as it makes it easier to keep clean ... just syphon out any mess on the tank floor when you change out the water.

After the sponge filter has bubbled for a week or so in the bigger tank it can be easily transferred to the hospital tank to help cycle the tank but test for ammonia for a while to be sure it is handling the problem, and nitrites and nitrates as those are fin killers. If you start to get high nitrates, I would get a real plant like a floating plant (hornwort) or something that does not need a substrate and float a piece of it in the tank but not until you have soaked it in a bath of a heaping teaspoon of ALUM in a quart of water for 5 full minutes and then rinsing very well with plain water before putting in the tank. This will kill any bugs or problems on the plant and prevent contamination in the tank which at this point we are doing at all costs.

Actually, I have heard of betta fins being healed with nothing but EXTREME cleanliness in the tank. This means usually a lot of work but no chemicals. Daily water changes of 50% or greater and tank maintenance (cleaning) weekly. But this is sometimes not practical and so if you get him in a hospital tank, and can get a sponge filter set up and keep an eye on the ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. The next step to getting the fins to heal is a good antibiotic and I use one of three. The easiest of the three to work with is Maracyn Plus because it comes in a liquid form and there is no waste and it is easy to figure the dose on. For a 3 gallon tank I use 3/4 teaspoon or if you are into cc I use 3 cc. The actual dose is 1 cc per gallon. The other two are powder packets and are based on one packet per 10 gallons unless your water is super hard then you use one packet in 5 gallons. So they are harder and you cannot really mix a packet and keep it over as the meds are not stable that way. But if you want to try them and guess at a third of a packet daily in a 3 gallon container they are TriSulfa, or Triple Sulfa depending on the brand you buy. There is a big difference in price on the two so it depends on where you shop. One I get for $2.99 and the other is $7.99 I believe and only has 2 more packets. (one has 8 the other 10) The Maracyn Plus is perhaps the most expensive of the meds being about $9.99 but as I said a lot less hassle in dosing and no waste. PLEASE do not let a well meaning pet store employee talk you into any of the following as they are toxic to bettas and all other Labyrinth organ fish: MELAFIX, PIMAFIX, BETTAFIX. They contain ingredients that cause the organ they need to breathe to eventually be compromised and they suffocate. They will tell you that they are great healing agents for fins and that is very true for almost all fish but for these fish they are killers.

There is another thing that will help in the regeneration of the fins but is not a strict necessity. It just depends on how fast you want them back. This is what we who have used it call the Big Three. They are agents that are not really medications but help fish to recover faster from disease and help tissue to regenerate faster due to just getting the fish healthier and keeping it calmer.

One is a Vitamin called Vitachem (freshwater formula) that you put a drop per gallon in the water 2 times weekly or soak the food in daily. The next is Rid Fungus, a liquid that controls the ability of the fin infection to become a fungal infection. The third and possibly the most important is a liquid called Fish Protector and it is an herbal remedy that basically does not a lot other than keeping your fish calm and not allowing stress to play a part in keeping him from healing. Since stress is at the top of the hit parade as causing a lot of the problems, this one is probably going to be one of the best helps.

This is a tall order I know but if the fish was mine this is what I would be doing and you would want my best advice I know. It is up to you how much of it you want to use and I do hope that your Skye gets better soon. He sounds absolutely gorgeous and I hope he is up to having his picture taken soon. :)

Fish Protector - 16 oz. | Health & Vitamins | Water Treatments & Additives | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com

Vita-Chem Freshwater - 16 oz. | Health & Vitamins | Water Treatments & Additives | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com

Amazon.com: Pond Rid Fungus - POND RID FUNGUS 16 OZ.: Kitchen & Dining

The Vitachem is available in other places for the 4 ounce size but since I was at that site I listed it. The Pond Rid Fungus is also usable on standard aquariums. I had long and protracted conversations with the people at Kordon over it. It is just that no one carries the other form anymore. I use the Pond version on my tanks all the time, when needed.

The links are by no means saying to buy there but all these products are somewhat difficult to find and I thought I would give you a headstart on any you decided you might want to try.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! Me and my wife are working on setting up another tank for the guppies but we will definitely tend to skye first. I have been reading your posts for some time and Betta queen fits so.... there you go. :)
 

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fishboydanny
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PLEASE do not let a well meaning pet store employee talk you into any of the following as they are toxic to bettas and all other Labyrinth organ fish: MELAFIX, PIMAFIX, BETTAFIX.
bettafix has always worked fine for my bettas as long as you follow the EXACT directions on the bottle.

They contain ingredients that cause the organ they need to breathe to eventually be compromised and they suffocate
wouldn't that only happent if the fish is exposed to the Med. for prolonged periods, after the neccissary treatment period is over?
 

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The ingredient causing the problem seems to have a cumulative effect and even if you do not have a problem the first 100 times it will eventually kill off the Labyrinth organ. Some fish are not so lucky and die the first time. You never know when it will happen. Sorry to say that just because it has not happened yet does not mean your fish has not been affected at all. The organ may be compromised but just not enough to kill the fish as yet. I would not use it any more if I were you. This is something that has happened to a lot of bettas not just one or two. This is a problem that was reported on more than one betta forum and on these forums many people had lost fish and then we noted that it also occured in gouramis and other fish with Labyrinth organs. It is not a joke but a serious problem.

Rose
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So melafix and derivitaves are kinda like smoking for labyrinth organ fishes? It might not kill you at first but it will build up and get you eventually?
 

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Yes it is very like that for those fish but for some they are not lucky and it kills them straight away the first time. It is kind of like Russian Roulette. It is also not a nice death. they go into convulsions and are in obvious pain.

Unfortunately before I found out what this was all about I lost one of my favorite bettas to this. We spoke to experts on several forums before finding out that one had discovered the cause and then found that it made sense for others who had gouramis and other Labyrinth organ fish dying the same way after using these meds.

I will say that for those who do not have any of these fish in their tanks the meds are miracle drugs that cure certain problems in fish in a way that is unequalled. I truly do wish they were able to be used for these fish as they made treating fin problems much easier, but not worth it to risk their lives that way.

Rose
 
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